Educators across Virginia will come together to explore new and innovative ways to enhance cybersecurity education for students in the commonwealth’s public high schools, colleges, and universities during the 2nd Annual Virginia Cybersecurity Education Conference Aug. 13-14 at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. 

"We've got two full days of great talks, workshops, and panel discussions planned,” said Virginia Cyber Range Director David Raymond. “This is an excellent opportunity for educators, administrators, and industry partners to learn new educational tools and techniques for teaching cybersecurity and to build networks of like-minded professionals."

An important part of the mission of the Virginia Cyber Range is to develop a community around cybersecurity education. The annual Virginia Cybersecurity Education Conference brings educators together to share ideas and resources they can use to better capture their students' interest in cybersecurity. 

“The Commonwealth of Virginia has made it a priority to increase the cyber workforce within the state,” said Peggy Brouse, director for Cyber Security Engineering at George Mason University and member of the Virginia Cyber Range executive committee. “The Virginia Cyber Range is a remarkable initiative with a partnership of higher education institutions throughout the state working in a common, collegial effort to provide a service for all educators in the commonwealth.”

“Meeting the demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals is a challenge that starts in the classroom,” said Raymond. “Students at all levels can benefit from hands-on, meaningful educational activities related to cybersecurity. Getting students excited about cybersecurity first means getting teachers excited about cybersecurity.”  

The conference features four tracks that address the theme "Improving Cybersecurity Education at All Levels." Attendees will discover new cybersecurity instruction tips, tackle hands-on cybersecurity activities, learn about innovative cybersecurity case studies, and explore cyber workforce development and credentialing efforts.

Keynote speakers include Alan Paller, founder and director of research for the SANS Institute, and Karen Jackson, interim executive director of the New College Institute. George Mason University leadership, including interim President Anne Holton, Provost and Executive Vice President S. David Wu, and Kenneth Ball, dean of the Volgenau School of Engineering will welcome conference attendees to the Fairfax campus. 

“Mason and the Volgenau School of Engineering are pleased to serve as venue host for this year’s conference,” Brouse said. “The conference will bring awareness of the capabilities of the Range to a large audience of educators. It will also bring together people with different backgrounds but the same common goals.

The conference is open to all high school, community college, and higher education faculty, administrators, and partners. Advance registration is recommended. 

The Virginia Cyber Range is operated by Virginia Tech and led by an executive committee representing 12 community colleges and universities within Virginia that are nationally recognized centers of academic excellence in cybersecurity. Thousands of educators and students in more than 200 high schools, community colleges, and universities across the state use the Virginia Cyber Range courseware and cloud-hosted exercise environment for hands-on cybersecurity training for students.